By Michael Holland –
The book wasn’t intended for me; I was definitely not the target market for the author. My daughter was telling us how much she liked the book and it clearly had a positive impact on her which was intriguing.
I’m a firm believer that for leaders to lead well, they need to be continual learners. And that learning can come from many sources: Podcasts, books, Twitter feeds, volunteering, creative endeavors, and many more.
Since I’m always seeking books to read to help me meet my goal of consuming 30 plus books per year I downloaded the book and took a listen.
The book, Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis, has been great though some translation of sorts has been needed and I absolutely had to get used to be addressed in ways that were foreign to me.
Here are some leadership lessons I took away from the book.
I Have Biases
We all have unconscious biases. This book helped me to spend some time in the minds of others and gain awareness to my limitations and more importantly to challenge habitual assumptions.
As leaders, we have to work hard at pausing to reflect on our habitual assumptions so that we can explore our interactions and anticipate potential limitations and unintended consequences of our behaviors.
Small Stories go a Long Way
Real life stories can be helpful in communicating values, beliefs, behaviors that we would like others to pick up on. Rachel’s “Things That Helped Me” summaries provided quick insights and applicable tools/ideas/behaviors.
Leaders telling stories is powerful. Leaders telling stories and providing insight to what they learned or found helpful is exponentially powerful.
Having a big vision for where you are going is the elixir to momentum. The vision needs to be big enough to make you question what has to change in order to be able to move towards that vision.
Leaders need big visions to help their teams see a greater purpose over time. Leaders also need these visions to help them maintain the personal fortitude that leading a bunch of humans requires.
There were topics and experiences that made me squirm a bit. Again, I was absolutely not the target market for this book. But the minor discomforts were triggers which awakened thoughts which primed thinking which caused reflection.
Reflection might be the most underutilized behavior among leaders.
A book I read earlier this year also helped to prime my brain to challenge unconscious biases. That book, Right Color, Wrong Culture by Bryan Loritts, also allowed me to walk through the minds of others for a brief moment.
The convergence of thought from these two books is exactly what learning is about.
Coaching Thoughts – For You and Your Peers
- What was the last thing you did that increased your continual learning?
- Grab a peer leader and together discuss your individual visions for your teams. How big or small were the visions?
- Over the next 5 days, ask as many leaders as you can for a recommendation of something they have consumed or done lately that has provided learning. Is there something on the list that you should pursue?